two faraway archipelagos in two days

7/28/2012

spotted cat belly
shetland sheeps

The Shetland Islands - Day One
My summer vacation travelogue continues- after visiting the beautiful Geiranger, we completely changed gears and made our way toward even more isolated landscapes. We reached the Shetland Islands first, which belong to Scotland but also have a Scandinavian past. I wasn't sure what to expect from a place that is so disconnected from large territories, but it was quite welcoming and beautiful considering how untouched it is. They also had so many cute sheep and small ponies!

shetland horse and loch
shetland overlook

We drove all over the islands for several hours, and stopped at this gorgeous overlook with abandoned boats and seals.

shetland seals
shetland old buildings

After seeing many coastal bluffs and dandelion fields, we eventually came back to Lerwick, the capital city. We managed to experience quite a bit whilst there, like eating local food, drinking local beers (ahem, Donald) and even taking an extended walk along the coast. Two friendly stray cats also greeted me yet again. After meeting Olaf in Flam, it felt like I was on an unofficial cat tour! Meow.

white cat shetland
shetland tea time

I had my daily peppermint tea fix, while I ate a Scottish sweet.

caramel log
klaksvik mound

The Faroe Islands - Day Two
I suppose it appears that I time-travelled when I connect all these experiences as one, but truthfully it was all quite spread out and long (this was actually day eight of our overall trip). I dreamt of visiting the Faroe Islands for years, so it felt even longer. I had written it off as being impossible until this vacation perfectly lined up. I'm fascinated by the combination of Scandinavian culture and hidden lands, so setting foot on the Faroes was a dream overload. What I saw was even more surprising than what I had imagined!

faroe yellow house
faroe coastline
driving through faroes
faroe town

Oh dear, where to begin. On our way to visit the beautiful Vestmanna sea cliffs, we drove for several hours through some of the most surreal locations. It felt like I was on a different planet at times, with everything being so barren and calm. When we got there, we went out on a small boat that went along a very desolate coast. It was freezing, but I somehow came out unscathed!

vestmanna boat
vestmanna cliffs
The purpose of our trek to Vestmanna was to see the bird cliffs, where many birds migrate to lay their eggs annually. It's impossible to convey the scenery; we were surrounded by very high jagged cliffs where birds flew overhead, and wooly sheep also grazed. We saw puffins (!) and our boat went through narrow caves and rock formations. It was a true adventure, and something I'll remember always.

Don't forget that the giveaway I'm holding ends tonight, July 28th at Midnight Pacific time. There's also an interview that I had with Jaclyn Bethany on the Audrey Grace blog, where I talk about my favorite blogs and style favorites. Hope you all have a great weekend x

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44 comments

  1. what a great adventure you guys had. That first picture of the Faroe Islands is just breathtaking! I'm really embarassed by the fact I didn't even know these places existed :/ I dearly hope I might get to visit them someday. And I think it's the cutest that you went to these islands for such particular reasons as seeing bird cliffs. You are just lovely!
    And I had already said your audrey grace pictures were great, the interview is really good too :))

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    1. Aw Nana, you are too sweet! I only knew about these places (mainly the Faroes) because I love to survey maps and see the tiny little faraway parts that seem forgotten. I knew the Faroese people were a secluded bunch so that fascinated me even more. The few people I met were super super nice and had a really dry/weird sense of humor. I loved it! Thanks for the lovely words :)

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  2. aha an island with sheep, ponies and cats... I simply MUST go there! :D

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    1. Haha! One thing I've learned is that luckily cats are everywhere, and so are sheep it seems. When I went to Iceland I really wanted to meet a stray cat, and I did! So it's true that they live all over :)

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  3. Scotland isn't too far away from me, although you went very high up! Stunning pictures again.

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    1. Thanks Paula, luckily those who live in the U.K. aren't too far away from these awesome places! x

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  4. Valerie, I cannot tell you you how much I love your blog! Your pictures are breathtaking and you write about such amazing experiences! I read your interview, loved it! xx Angie

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    1. Thank you Angie for the extremely lovely words :) I often hope that what excites me also interests others, so I'm glad to hear that you enjoy it! x

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  5. Eeep your pictures of the Shetland Islands are causing my brain to dig up hazy memories of my childhood holidays there! It looks most dreamy through your eyes <3 <3 i hope the weather didnt storm too much for you!

    Uhhh im so envious you got to go the Faroe Islands as well O_O! Your pictures are stunning, i cant tell you much i adore them! I hope you enjoy every minute of your remaining aventuring :D

    ps you are a kitty queen! They seem to follow you where ever you wander! xxx

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    1. Somehow it didn't storm anywhere that we went until we visited London, so we were very lucky! I heard that winds in Shetland can be quite brutal too. It sounds like a great adventure to go on as a child, I bet you have great memories! Haha the title of kitty queen is definitely reserved for my cat Erlend, but I'll take an honorary second. I think it's because I always kneel down and try to pet them, so they know I mean no harm :)

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  6. These are all incredible! The landscape reminds me so much of where I live! And I just can't get over the beautiful architecture! <3

    x
    Lost in the Haze: a Fashion Photography Blog

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    1. Where you live is quite beautiful, so I'm sure you have even more wonders! The Faroes were my favorite of the two places - their little homes were definitely architecturally stunning, at least from an aesthetic point of view :)

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  7. Lovely post as always! I can't believe you saw all those seals on the beach, I've never seen wild seals before. And I laughed at your comment about the trip being an unofficial cat tour :) Also, I really enjoyed your interview at Audrey Grace! Your words are always so elegant.

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    1. Oh wow, and here I thought seeing wild puffins was rare, but I suppose seals are kind of hard to find too! I've seen them in zoos and random piers before, but I never get tired at how cute they look while they loaf. It's almost exactly what my cat Erlend does all day haha! Thank you Emily, I can say the exact same thing about your writing :)
      x

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  8. both places look amazing! i can't imagine what it would be like to live on a tiny remote island where you would have to get on a boat to go anywhere else. it's like a whole other world.

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    1. It's certainly amazing, and I know I could never survive in such a remote place! They built a bunch of underwater tunnels to avoid boats, but that still doesn't fix all their travelling woes! x

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  9. Such beautiful photos, it's like nothing I have ever seen before. All of the colorful homes on the hills kind of remind me of San Francisco, but there are so many differences. The photos of the cats and pony are so sweet! I'm glad to hear that you had a nice time on your trip.
    XOXO

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    1. Thank you Anna! When I was in Scandinavia, the colorful homes did remind me of some of the San Francisco homes. San Francisco is definitely unique as well! :)

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  10. Where is the pic of you hugging a puffin? Jk, I wish! I'm sure you are reliving your trip through your pics. How did you like the caramel log? I've had the caramel wafers and my faaaavorite-I-could-kill-for flavor is the coconut one. It kind of reminds me of a coconut Mexi treat! Noom. xxx

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    1. Haha I wish! They never got close enough to the boat, and they preferred to dive away quickly. The caramel log was pretty tasty, but not as good as Norwegian and Icelandic chocolate I had. I do like all candy though so I'm sure I'd like the coconut one!

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    1. Hehe, I can never get enough of animals x

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  12. Hi, Valerie!
    first of all, that is one pretty name and I long to name my future daughter with that name :)

    looks like it was quite an epic adventure in Vestmanna!

    <3
    The Sweetest Escape 

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    1. Vestmanna was otherworldly, as were the Faroes. My name seems so pedestrian, but I'm glad you like it :D

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  13. Both these places look beautiful (again!). I love the picture of the little houses on the coast in the Faroe Islands. I would love to see a puffin in real life, they look like such funny birds haha.

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    1. They were so much smaller than I thought! Their beaks were such a bright orange and I only wished they came closer to the photo so I could have photographed them better! :)

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  14. These photos are so beautiful. I want to travel soon.

    x Stace
    tee&fame

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    1. Thank you, it's definitely easier to just see the photos than going since it's so far away haha!

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  15. the faroe islands look gorgeous, what a lovely trip! xx

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    1. They were so special and so untouched! I never saw a human being walking around. Just sheep!

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  16. these photos are so beautiful. I want to visit!

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    1. You should! I'm sure they'd appreciate the tourism :)

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  17. I wish I went to the faroe islands, it looks absolutely beautiful.
    Lovely pictures :)

    http://the-makingofthings.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Thank you! It was very unique and worth the effort! x

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  18. These pictures are so beautiful! Once again, I am SO happy I found your blog! Enjoy your adventures,
    xo Hannah

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  19. I can't believe you saw puffins!! I remember doing a report on them in the 3rd grade and thinking they were the coolest birds ever. :)
    These pictures are beyond beautiful- I can't get over how amazing it looks on film and how much "grand-er" it must be in person.

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    1. Oh it was so impossible to capture it with photographs. In fact, I thought my efforts were futile, so it frustrated me to even try. I'm glad some of it came across and that's so cute that you did a report on puffins! Donald really wanted to see puffins in person so that's another reason we went to Vestmanna :)

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  20. Oh my god Valerie! These are SO pretty! The second and third photos are giving me lots of feelings, the colours are amazing. They make me miss foggy mornings in my hometown. And you saw puffins! Ah! Such an amazing adventure.

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    1. Thank you Georgia! You always seem to be on some very exotic adventures as well! Way more than I could probably survive haha. Foggy mornings are the best!

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  21. How did you plan this trip?? Research and really good planning or was it a tour? I'm so curious because I've been planning to do a trip much like this for awhile but wasn't sure how to actually go about it aside from buying a bunch of travel guides and doing extensive planning.

    Also, your pictures are INCREDIBLE.

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    1. Ohh the trip was in the works for years. I did lots of research, price comparisons, etc. In the end the most affordable method was to book a cruise (I was always against cruises before) that did a very thorough tour of my favorite places. So it was a combination of my own planning and their boat taking us to remote places :) Most of my past trips were usually done on my own and with the use of maps, travel guides and lots of public transportation- so either way is certainly possible (perhaps not on the islands though). Thank you! :)

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  22. the Faroe Islands are far on top of my to-visit(-soon) list, and this makes it even "worse"! so beautiful! the Shetland Islands too, ahhh. i wish you'd travel 24/7 and kept us updated all the time - reading this really makes me feel as if i'm travelling with you :)

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    1. I wish I'd travel 24/7 too, but truthfully I miss my own home so much after just two weeks! I'm glad to share the experiences and that you're reading along with me as well! :) The Faroes are beautiful but so harsh - they're so cold and windy! x

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